As the Magistrate tightens his grip on Gotham, an unlikely pair rises from the shadows to team up and take back their city in Future State: Dark Detective.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “No Future Past” in Future State: Dark Detective #1, by Matthew Rosenberg, Carmine di Giandomenico, Antonio Fabela and AndWorld Design, on sale now.

Gotham City has been home to be many Dynamic Duos and in the exciting alternate timeline of Future State, a new partnership has been forged. And while there’s a new Batman protecting Gotham in the absence of Bruce Wayne, other superhero partnerships are rising up all over the city on their own to take on the villainous overlord Magistrate, the tyrant that rules over Gotham with an iron fist.

And while the Outsiders have undergone their own upgraded appearance to protect the outskirts of Gotham, longtime loner Grifter has found a new partner in Luke Fox, the hero formerly known as Batwing in Future State: Dark Detective #1.

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Previously a lethal antihero from the Wildstorm Universe, Grifter was integrated into the DC Universe during the crossover event Flashpoint, with the Wildstorm characters even more firmly embedded into the DCU during the New 52 era. In the wake of “Joker War” and the Clown Prince of Crime’s direct attack on Lucius Fox during the DC Rebirth era, Lucius opted to hire a personal bodyguard to ensure he wouldn’t be threatened by supervillains ever again. The bodyguard in question turned out to be Cole Cash, with Cole unleashing his masked alter ego against Batman in a brief skirmish that had the two figures fight to a standstill on the rooftops of Gotham.

Future State reveals Grifter faked his death when Magistrate rose to power, to avoid the villain’s hunt for heroes that may oppose his rule over Gotham. Exposed as alive while at a dive bar, Cole is forced to go on the run once again and links up with Luke Fox. Facing the fury of both the Magistrate and the Black Mask Syndicate, a criminal organization that has risen to become a major player in Gotham’s criminal underworld, Grifter and Luke fight their way across town to reach someone that Cole feels will protect them. Escaping from the wrath of the Black Mask Syndicate, Cole and Luke take cover in an abandoned bakery, quietly observed by Huntress from the shadows.

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Grifter Huntress Future State

Helena Bertinelli was reimagined during the New 52 era as a secret agent, working with the clandestine organization Spyral alongside Dick Grayson while the former Boy Wonder was a double agent secretly investigating the agency on Batman’s behalf. By the DC Rebirth era, Helena’s pre-Flashpoint origins were reintroduced, including her family’s links to the Italian mafia, while Helena took on a civilian job as a local schoolteacher. With anyone wearing a mask facing capital punishment under the Magistrate’s orders, Huntress has managed to evade the supervillain’s grasp and continues to operate, armed with her signature crossbow, even after the Bat-Family has ruptured. However, Grifter says that she has since become one of the last great criminals Gotham ever produced.

Given their willingness to exercise lethal force in sharp contrast to the rest of the Bat-Family, Grifter and Huntress are perhaps far better suited as to the Magistrate’s Gotham than either would initially care to admit. Outnumbered, Cole Cash and Helena Bertinelli are likely not outgunned, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. But with Luke Fox still operating by Bruce Wayne’s moral code, he may not be able to make it out of this totalitarian, cyberpunk vision of Gotham alive.

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